Friday, March 21, 2008

Baking Blog & Umm...Cupcakes.

So I want to start a baking blog. I figure this blog was initially supposed to be a fun thing to help out of town friends and family keep apprised of what goes on in our oh-so-exciting lives.

But as our neighbor points's mostly about FOOD. Which if you know me, really isn't surprising.

Lately it's more about CUPCAKES. Which is my current obsession. Well who am I kidding, I love sweets. Period. And always have. Cupcakes is the latest manifest of my sweet loving tooth....I have always loved cupcakes and always will.

But I figure hmmm a baking blog could be fun. Because I go through the cookie phase as well. And the muffin phase, which is kind of like cupcakes. Honestly, I have always been a fan of 'things made in pans' ...!

So...I've been trying to come up with some names for the blog. I've bounced them off a few friends. A few resonate but of course the ones I really want are already taken on blogger because they are so amazingly cool. Like Glazed Over. I mean I'm sure I'm not the second or 10th person to think of that one. Or Vanilla Bean.

Anyway, the top contenders now are Sugar Nib (does anyone actually know what that is?) and Coarse Sugar. I like Coarse Sugar because I'm a fledgling baker, unrefined. But Sugar Nib is just so fun and cute. I don't want to pidgeonhole myself into a 'cake' or 'cupcake' name but I figure Sugar or something like 'baking' could work. Any other ideas ?!!?! I also had Glossed Sugar but I don't love it. I also liked the Unpolished Cupcake...but that's cupcake specific. Meh!!

So while I've been trying to think up names for the new baking blog....yeah. I made cupcakes.

I'm all chocolated out thanks to the choco-bake-fest I did last weekend and honestly the sight of chocolate cupcakes makes my stomach turn a bit right now. Is this therapy? If so, I kind of like it!!

I went fruity this time. I had some yummy Lemon Pound Cake from Miette in SF last week and it was soooooo overly sugary sweet lemony citrusy sour that I think my mouth was confused. So I wanted to do something lemony but not that crazy puckery sweet lemony. More like a fluffy vanilla lemony. Dug through some blogs...and compiled a few recipes. Came up with this one and it came out really awesome.

Vanilla Lemony Cupcakes
(filled with Raspberry jam)

1c cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 stick softened butter
3/4c baking sugar
1 egg and 1 egg white
1/4c milk
1 tblsp vanilla
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp lemon zest
raspberry jam

Sift cake flour, powder, soda, salt in a bowl, set aside. Cream butter and sugar til fluffy. Add egg and egg white, whip til incorporated well. Add lemon zest, vanilla, lemon juice, milk, whip well. At this point the batter is not smooth looking but slightly curdled (lemon I guess?). Fold in flour bowl, don't overmix.

Preheat oven to 350. Line up mini muffin party cups or use small mini baking pan with liners. Using a canteloupe baller, fill each cup just partway with batter. Add put small dollop of raspberry jam in center, don't let touch sides of liners. Put more batter into cup, fill 2/3 only.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, using toothpick to check. If using regular flat pan with nut/party cups, put silpat liner down to help prevent blackening. (Next time I might lower temp just slightly as well to see). Let cool on oven rack for another minute with oven open before removing to cool.

This recipe makes 16 mini cupcakes. I would imagine it'd make about 6 large ones.

Frosting was just cream cheese, confectioners sugar, lemon juice all whipped into a frenzy til I liked the consistency. If you want, add some raspberry jam, just a tiny bit, gives it a pale pink color. Frost with spatula or pipe. Garnish with one raspberry on each cuppie (I used frozen).

Note on raspberries, they sweat and esp the frozen ones as they melt, so let them sweat onto a paper towel first before putting them on as garnish. I put them on then they started sweating so I took them off and let them dry out first on a paper towel but a few of the cuppies looked like they were bled on! Thanks raspberries. Also...they sweat LATER as well, so the raspberries are kind of a funny add, but people actually liked the little color they added to the frosting funnily enough.

Also, I think that I need a silpat liner on the cookie sheet next time because the poor little nut and party cups were all brown on the bottom from the heat through the cookie sheet. I need something to help even that out and maybe even raise the rack from the bottom more. Might try these again this wkd to perfect, as I only used 1/2 the cream cheese frosting on I have 1/2 left.

You could omit raspberry jam in the center if you don't want a filled cuppie. Then I'd really use the raspberry in frosting. But even with the cuppies filled and used in frosting, it wasn't too much raspberry, I just used a tiny bit. Also, interestingly enough people LOVED the filling in the cupcake. I have to try another filled one soon.

Lastly, random...but when my husband was eating his tonite I noticed that the jam area was slightly hollowed out as the jam baked into the cupcake. My husband said it was the steam releasing into the cupcake as the jam baked. I thought interesting, could that possibly be why these are so moist as well, from the steam?? Not sure, but it's fun to ponder.

Why am I babbling on? Pictures!

Batter up.

Batter & jam mingling.

Baked and cooling. I overfilled them so some went a little crazee.

Frosted and raspberried.

Dissasembled and dissected. Yum!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janna & Derrick said...

Very pretty!
Were they good?

Mara said...

What kind of question is that silly girl?? It's vanilla, lemon, raspberry and cream cheese. Of course they were good!! ;) They got rave reviews actually. I made them again today for Easter!

Amelia said...

Looks so good! My boys would love this! Ingredients are now on today's grocery list '=]